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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Champaign Man Pleads Guilty to Charges of Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl and Heroin in Rockford

ROCKFORD — A Champaign man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Rockford before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to two drug trafficking charges.

SETH LASHAWN HUNTER, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, and one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. 

Hunter has been in federal custody since his arrest on Nov. 8, 2018. Sentencing is set for May 10, 2019, at 9:30 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Phillip G. Reinhard in Rockford.

According to the written plea agreement, on June 20, 2018, Hunter arranged for an individual in Long Beach, Calif., to ship two packages containing narcotics to Hunter at the residences of two of Hunter’s family members in Rockford. One package contained approximately 250 grams of heroin, and the other package contained approximately 998 pills that were designed to look like pharmaceutically manufactured oxycodone but contained amounts of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl.  Hunter arranged for the packages to be delivered to fictitious persons at Hunter’s family members’ residences in Rockford via the U.S. Postal Service.  Hunter admitted that he traveled to Rockford over the weekend of June 22-24, 2018, to retrieve the packages of narcotics, and that he intended to distribute the heroin and the pills containing fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl after he received the packages.  Law enforcement officers, however, intercepted the narcotics before the two packages were delivered.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Craig Goldberg, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Talia Bucci.

Attempted possession of 100 grams or more of heroin with intent to distribute carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in prison, a period of supervised release after imprisonment of at least four years, and a fine of up to $5 million.  Attempted possession of a detectable amount of fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a period of supervised release after imprisonment of at least three years, and a maximum penalty of $1 million. The sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the Sentencing Guidelines.

Drug Trafficking
Updated November 20, 2018